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32nd Annual Elder Law Institute


Speaker(s): Arlene M. Markarian, Catherine A. Christian, David C. Leven, Douglas J. Chu, Jeffrey G. Abrandt, Kevin M. Cremin, Liz Loewy, Roberta K. Flowers
Recorded on: Jun. 8, 2020
PLI Program #: 277583

Arlene Markarian joined the Nassau District Attorney’s Office as Chief of their Elder Abuse Unit in November 2016.  In addition to creating the Elder Abuse Unit, A.D.A. Markarian is responsible for creating Nassau’s first Elder Abuse Multidisciplinary Team, which includes the heads of numerous senior social service agencies and non-profits, attorneys, geriatricians, geropsychiatrists, social workers and law enforcement.

Prior to working in Nassau County, Arlene Markarian was an Assistant District Attorney with the Kings County (Brooklyn) District Attorney’s Office since 1990 and joined their Domestic Violence Bureau in 1994.  A.D.A. Markarian was promoted to Chief of Brooklyn’s Elder Abuse Unit in their Domestic Violence Bureau and was tasked with the Unit’s creation in 1999.   

A.D.A. Markarian has conducted hundreds of trainings on the detection, investigation and prosecution of domestic violence and elder abuse cases —including to the judiciary, district attorney’s offices, law enforcement, the New York Prosecutors Training Institute, Office of the Chief Medical Examiner, Adult Protective Services, hospitals and other senior service providers.  In addition to continuing to provide such trainings while working for Nassau County District Attorney Madeline Singas, A.D.A. Markarian is a regular trainer for the Nassau County Police Academy.  She outreaches to advocates, the legal profession, health care professionals and first-responders so we can all work together to help victims of elder abuse live safer lives.

Arlene is a member of the NYS Judicial Committee on Elder Justice, a standing advisory committee of the Chief Administrative Judge of the Courts, headed by Justice Deborah Kaplan, a member of the District Attorneys Association of the State of New York’s Elder Abuse Legislative Sub-committee, and is a founding member of the NYC Elder Abuse Center’s Steering Committee, a first-of-its-kind initiative in New York State.

In 2013, she was responsible for the Brooklyn D.A.’s Elder Abuse Unit being one of only nine jurisdictions in the country to win a substantial federal elder abuse grant from the USDOJ’s Office on Violence Against Women.  She is also the proud recipient of the 2014 Ruth E. Moskowitz Award presented by the Kings County Supreme Court, Civil Term, Gender Fairness Committee honoring “Women of Character, Courage & Commitment.”

In addition to homicides and high publicity cases, A.D.A. Markarian has successfully prosecuted a large variety of domestic violence and elder abuse cases including attempted murder, conspiracy, assault, kidnapping, burglary, grand larceny and criminal contempt cases, as well as cases where the victim testified for the defense.

Arlene Markarian received her Juris Doctor from St. John’s University School of Law and is admitted to the New York State Bar.  She received her Bachelor of Science degree in Criminal Justice from St. John’s University as well.


David C. Leven is Executive Director Emeritus and Senior Consultant, End of Life Choices New York, after serving as its Executive Director from 2002 to 2016. He is an advocate for patients, seeking to improve care and expand choice for the dying. An expert on advance care planning, patient rights, palliative care and end-of-life issues, including medical aid in dying, Mr. Leven has played a leadership role in having legislation enacted in New York to improve pain, palliative and end-of-life care. He initiated the Palliative Care Education and Training Act, the Palliative Care Information Act and laws pertaining to health care proxies and required continuing medical education for doctors on pain, palliative care and the end of life. 

On medical aid in dying, Mr. Leven has worked extensively on New York’s Medical Aid in Dying Act from its inception. He has lectured or debated on the topic at every New York City area law school as well as at Albany, Rutgers, Syracuse and Yale law schools, and at several New York State Bar Association programs. He is co-author of “The Clinical, Ethical and Legislative Case for Medical Aid in Dying in New York”, with Timothy E. Quill, MD, NYSBA Health Law Journal, Winter 2017, Vol. 22, No. 3, 27-29

Mr. Leven lectures frequently to diverse professional groups and citizens on health care decision making and end-of-life issues. He has been a regular guest lecturer at College of New Rochelle School of Nursing. He has spoken at over 60 senior centers and retirement communities and at numerous meetings and conferences. He has been a plenary or workshop speaker at Consortium of New York Geriatric Education Centers Conferences (twice), Jewish Home Life Care Annual Palliative Care Conference, Westchester/NYS Southern Region, Collaborative for Palliative Care Conferences (6 times) and Westchester Medical Group at West Harrison and Rye. He has also presented at the New York Academy of Medicine, State Society on Aging of New York Conferences (four times), the Hospice and Palliative Care of New York State Annual Meeting and at several medical centers, including Albany Medical Center, Lawrence Hospital, Mt. Sinai Medical School, North Shore LIJ, and Upstate Medical University. He has lectured at New York State Bar Association (numerous lectures), New York City Bar Association, New York County Lawyers Association, Practicing Law Institute, Suffolk County Lawyers Association, Westchester Women’s Bar Association and programs.

Mr. Leven has appeared on Fox Cable TV, CBS TV, Channel 2 Local News, Regional News Network TV, WABC, Aljazerra, Fox Radio, CBS AM radio, BBC, WNYC, WVOX, WFAS and WLIB among others.  He has been a periodic guest on the WBAI Health Styles program.

A graduate of the University of Rochester and Syracuse University College of Law, he is a recipient of various awards including the Public Interest Law Award of the New York State Bar Association Public Interest Committee and the Westchester Civil Liberties Union, Civil Liberties Award. He is a past Distinguished Lawyer in Residence at Touro Law School.     


Jeffrey G. Abrandt is a partner at Goldfarb Abrandt Salzman & Kutzin, LLP.  He practices primarily in the areas of Elder Law, Health Law, Trusts and Estates, Guardianships, and with the rights of the elderly and disabled. For the first third of his career, Jeffrey was a public interest attorney focusing on government benefits and the legal problems of the elderly and disabled.  After close to a decade, as Attorney-In-Charge of the Legal Aid Society’s Brooklyn Office for the Aging, he left public interest law. Currently Jeffrey is also an Adjunct Professor at Hoftra University School of Law where he teaches Elder Law.  Since 2002, he has served as Co-Chair of the Elder Law Institute, an annual program for attorneys practicing elder law by the Practicing Law Institute.  Jeffrey has published numerous articles in the Practicing Law Institute’s Course Handbook Series as well as the Brookdale Institute’s Entitlement and Advocacy Training pamphlet series.  He is a frequent lecturer in Elder Law for various groups including the New York State Bar Associations, as well as other local bar associations.  He is a perennial “Best Lawyers” in New York and has also been named a “Super Lawyer.”


Kevin M. Cremin is the Director of Litigation for Disability and Aging Rights at Mobilization for Justice (formerly MFY Legal Services).  He received his J.D. from Yale Law School and his B.A. from the University of Chicago.  After clerking for a federal district court judge and a federal court of appeals judge, Kevin enforced the Fair Housing Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act for the United States Department of Justice.  As an American India Foundation Clinton Fellow, he conducted a study on community-based services for individuals with psychiatric disabilities in India.  Kevin is a Lecturer-in-Law at Columbia Law School, and he has authored articles that have been published in the Yale Law and Policy Review, Texas Journal on Civil Liberties & Civil Rights, Frontiers of Law in China, Cardozo Law Review, and other publications. Kevin is currently a Visiting Clinical Lecturer in Law at Yale Law School.


Liz Loewy is Co-Founder and Chief Operating Officer at EverSafe, a technology platform that monitors the financial health of seniors and families for fraud, identity theft, and age-related issues. Before coming to EverSafe, Liz was a prosecutor in the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office and oversaw that Office’s Domestic Violence Unit before assisting in the creation of its first Elder Abuse Prosecution Unit, serving as its Chief for 18 years. She was trial counsel in a number of high-profile cases, including the successful prosecution involving the well-known New York City philanthropist, Brooke Astor.

Liz currently serves as EverSafe’s subject matter expert on elder fraud and as liaison to partners including financial services professionals, attorneys, government agencies, and health and aging organizations. She participated in the first National Policy Summit on Elder Abuse in Washington, DC in 2001 and presented at the most recent White House Conference on Aging in July of 2015. She was a panelist at the 2019 Milken Institute’s Global Conference, and has been a guest speaker on the subject of elder financial abuse at conferences in the US and Europe, including those hosted by the North American Securities Administrators Association, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, the American Bankers Association, the Association of Certified Anti Money-Laundering Specialists, the National College of Probate Judges, the National Adult Protective Services Association, the American Bar Association, state bar associations, commercial financial institutions, as well as district attorneys’ offices and police departments across the US.

Liz serves on the boards of HelpAge USA and the Financial Exploitation Advisory Board of the National Adult Protective Services Association. She is the author of a book entitled “Financial Exploitation of the Elderly: Legal Issues, Prevention, Prosecution, Social Service Advocacy” (Civic Research Institute). She received the National Adult Protective Services’ Collaboration Award (2011), Albany Law School’s Kate Stoneman Award (2013), and was cited as one of NYC’s “50 Inspiring Fintech Females” by NYC FinTech Women in 2019. Liz has been quoted in a number of periodicals including the Wall Street Journal, Forbes, Consumer Reports, Money, Kiplinger’s, the NYTimes, and the NY Law Journal, and appeared on ABC’s 20/20, CNBC, ABC News, and NPR.


Mr. Chu has been involved with the area of Elder Law since 1990.  Before joining the firm he was the Senior Staff Attorney for the Brookdale Center on Aging of Hunter College from 1990 to 1999, where he specialized in Medicaid eligibility and government entitlements. From 1995 to 1999, Mr. Chu was also the attorney in charge of the Evelyn Frank Legal Resources Program at Selfhelp Community Services, Inc. ; known for his speaking skills, Mr. Chu has been an invited speaker/presenter at New York State Bar Association Sponsored Programs in 2003, 2006, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2014 and 2019. 

EDUCATION:

  • RUTGERS UNIVERSITY SCHOOL Of Law -Camden : J.D.1987 with an Honors Degree in International Law and member of the Law Review Staff  
  • UNIVERSITY OF VERMONT - B.A. 1981.

Mr. Chu has been an Adjunct Professor at CUNY Law School and Long Island University, where he taught Elder Law related courses.  He is a respected lecturer on government entitlements and since 1998 has presented a monthly lecture series on applying for Medicaid home care at Caringkind (formerly known as theAlzheimer's Association of New York City) .  Mr. Chu is a regular speaker for the National Constitution Center Audio Conference Series, which provides continuing legal education to attorneys nationally.  Mr. Chu has been the Chair of the New York City Citywide Medicaid Advisory Council since 1995 . He is the author and editor of  the chapter "Medicaid for the Elderly, Blind and Disabled", found in The New York Elder Law Handbook published annually by the Practicing Law Institute of New York, where he is also a member of their faculty and current Co-Chair of their Annual Elder Law Institute.    Mr. Chu is a member of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys and the New York State Bar Association Elder Law Section. He is admitted to practice in New York, New Jersey (inactive) and Washington, D.C. (inactive)  Before entering the field of Elder Law, Mr. Chu was an associate attorney at Dunnells, Duvall, Bennett & Porter in Washington, D.C. from 1987 to 1989 where he focused on White Collar Criminal defense work.


Roberta K. Flowers is a Professor of Law at Stetson University College of Law and the Interim Director of the Center for Excellence in Advocacy. She also serves as the Editor of the International Journal on Aging, Law and Policy at Stetson. Professor Flowers teaches ethics in an elder law practice in the Elder Law LL.M. program. She also teaches evidence, criminal procedure, and professional responsibility. She has served as the Director of the Center for Excellence in Advocacy Center and as the William Reece Smith, Jr. Distinguished Professor in Professionalism. During her time at Stetson, Professor Flowers has received the University level award for Excellence in Teaching, an Award for Most Inspirational Teacher from the Student Bar Association and an award from the SBA for Supporting the Life of the Students.  She also received the University level Homer and Dolly Hand Award for Excellence in Scholarship.  She has also been awarded the Dean’s Award for Extraordinary Service and she has been awarded the Distinguished Service Award four times.  In 2005, The Florida Supreme Court awarded Professor Flowers the Faculty Professionalism Award.

She has lectured throughout the United States and internationally in the area of Ethics.  Professor Flowers produced a series of educational videos on the ethical issues faced by Prosecuting Attorneys which won a Telly Award for Excellence in Educational Films.  Along with Professor Rebecca Morgan, she created a set of videos depicting ethical dilemmas faced by elder law attorneys, which have been used throughout the United States to train attorneys. The Florida Supreme Court awarded Professors Morgan and Flowers the Florida Supreme Court Professionalism Award for their work on these videos. Additionally, with Professor Morgan, Professor Flowers designed the first “elder friendly courtroom” in the nation, which is a model of the important considerations that should be made when creating courtrooms of the future. 

Before coming to Stetson, Professor Flowers worked as a prosecutor both in the state and federal system. She began her career in 1984 as a deputy district attorney for the Eighteenth Judicial District of Colorado, where she served as a trial attorney in the criminal division. In 1989, she was appointed assistant U.S. attorney for the Southern District of Florida, where she served in the Appellate Division, the Major Crimes Unit and the Public Corruption Unit.

Professor Flowers graduated magna cum laude from Baylor University in 1979 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in psychology. She received her Juries Doctorate from the University of Colorado in 1984, where she was selected to be a member of the Order of the Coif.

Professor Flowers’ research interests revolve around the issues of ethics and professionalism. Professor Flowers’ articles have appeared in such journals as the Fordham Law Review, the Boston College Law Review, Missouri Law Review, the Nebraska Law Review, the Ohio State Journal of Criminal Law, Hastings Constitutional Law Quarterly, the Stetson Law Review, and the NAELA Journal.  She is a co-author with Professor Rebecca Morgan of the ABA published book Ethics and the Practice of Elder Law.

Professor Flowers is active in several professional associations.  She is currently on the Board of Directors for the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys (NAELA).  She is also on the Board of Directors for Gulfcoast Legal Services and Impact Pinellas.  She will begin a three-year term in October, 2014 serving on the 6th Circuit Grievance Committee.  She has served on numerous committees of the Florida Bar including the Professional Ethics Committee, the Evidence Committee and the Standing Committee on Professionalism.  She is currently the chair of the Professionalism Sub-Committee of the Litigation Section’s Ethics and Professionalism Committee of the American Bar Association.


After graduating from Dickinson School of Law in 1988 Catherine began her legal career as an Assistant District Attorney in the Office’s Trial Division under Robert M. Morgenthau. She prosecuted a wide variety of crimes, including, domestic violence and homicides. In 1995, she joined a private law firm, and later served as an Assistant Counsel for the New York State Commission of Investigation. She subsequently served as the Principal Law Clerk to the Honorable Rosalyn Richter.

Catherine was reappointed an ADA in 1998 and assigned to the Office of the Special Narcotics Prosecutor for NYC, serving in various roles, including as a member of the Executive Staff.  In 2014, District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance Jr appointed Catherine Chief of the Elder Abuse Unit.

Catherine is a member of the Appellate Division First Department’s Attorney Grievance Committee and Character and Fitness Committee.

From 2007-2008, Catherine was President of the New York County Lawyers' Association.